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Winter in Greenfield Village: Hog Butchering at Firestone Farm

January 26, 2011 Archive Insight

Each year, Greenfield Village closes for the winter season - but that doesn't mean it lies dormant! This is the time for freshening up the homes, grounds and vehicles in preparation for the busy year ahead. Take a peek into what happens during winter in Greenfield Village - then join us in April to enjoy the results!

In 1800s Ohio, the harsh winters provided little opportunity for families like future tire magnate Harvey Firestone's to enjoy fresh foods. In order to keep the family fed until spring, the Firestones worked hard to preserve and enjoy the crops and animals they raised all year long on the farm, which included their hogs.

Very little of the pig went to waste, as the men of the family carefully cut pork chops, roasts, bacon and more from the animal. From there, the women rendered the fat for lard, soap and other uses.

Today, we continue this tradition, but with trained professionals slaughtering the hogs; our Firestone Farm presenters then butcher and preserve the meat in the farmhouse's root cellar.

Ryan Spencer is former manager of Firestone Farm in Greenfield Village. Working at The Henry Ford was a childhood dream of his -- although he did not realize then that it would involve so much manure.

farm animals, winter, home life, Greenfield Village buildings, Greenfield Village, food, farms and farming, by Ryan Spencer

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